Top Music Of 2007

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, December 31, 2007 - 04:22:12 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music)
Another year has come to a close, and hence, a little look back over what I've enjoyed musically over the past year, which I'm sure will now become a tradition for my blog, now that I have the facility to do it...

Certainly this year has been all about finally seeing Scotty Johnson's release, which has only been out for around 6 months, but I've played the shit out of since getting it. And it's nice seeing Make It Last as the song I've played the most this year, as it's definitely been my favorite for 2007.

[hitter:table user="ord" start="20070101" period_type="year" table_type="tracks" /]

[hitter:table user="ord" start="20070101" period_type="year" table_type="albums" /]

Album wise, Scott Johnson's record was on course to come out as my most played for the year, and ironically lost the position due to a single listen of Heavy Meadow today, the last day of the year. With that being said, Scott Johnson has really been the album of the year, both in that it actually came out this year, and it's been played the most, considering Heavy Meadow has been in rotation for a whole 12 months.

It's both cool, and impressive to see Unhappy Hour staying strong, moving up to #3 for this year. Certainly has become a favorite, and I must say, given how much I've played it, it's pretty damn impressive that I'm not sick of it. As always, I shudder thinking about how close I came to not buying it when I found it at Zia Records. It's such a crazy thought now!

Violet Wild & Mink Rebellion have also been a big deal this year, particularly earlier on in the year. Mink was last year, and 2005 also, but with only E.P's (hence less songs), making the top 10 is pretty impressive and testament to how much I've listened to them. And of course, Violet Wild actually was new music (or old Mink Rebellion music revamped [wink] ) for 2007. I'm still yet to find a way to buy the actual E.P (on CD, not iTunes), which came out a few months ago.

I've been slow on the take up of Let Go - saw them in 2005, and the album was released in October 2005, which I feel like I listened to via one of their social networking pages in 2006, and was kinda bored by. I distinctly remember listening to it in 2006, when I was getting out of the shoulder sling. But I can't for the life of me remember why it didn't do it for me at the time, because since putting it on my iPod this year I really dig it. Enough for it to be my 6th most played album this year.

Live At Last Exit Volume 1 coming in at #7 for a second year in a row illustrates what a solid album / compilation that is. 'Nuff said.

Tramps' Spittin' Into The Wind, is another "2007 album, but not technically" one. It came out mid 2006, but I didn't get my hands on it until earlier this year. To be honest, I'm a tad surprised that it came in at #10. Not that I don't think it's great, because I really do, I just hadn't realized that I'd played it as much as I quite obviously have.

And yes, for a second year in a row, both top 10's are exclusively valley artists. Never let it be said that I don't like my desert rock! [wink]

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - No More Beautiful World

Easily the biggest disappointment of 2007. Back in February, despite skepticism last year, I was highly anticipating this album, largely when the band released the e-card featuring Hello New Day, Maybe We Should Fall In Love and Contraband. On actually listening to the full album though, it was a major disappointment, and it didn't take me long to drop my opinion of even Andele, which initially seemed to rival ¡Americano!. Too many low points to mention here. There are a few places here and there than I can get something out on the right day, but the overall quality makes that hard. Who knows, it might be one of those albums that I'll feel completely different about in 5 years. Either way, I'm kinda surprised this weighed in at #24 for this year.

Gin Blossoms - Major Lodge Victory
Not so much a miss, but it is noticeable that this dropped from #2 last year, to #19 this year. The insistent rotation like last year when it came out just hasn't been the case. I think there are a few reasons for this, and not unnecessarily a reflection on not liking the album, but either way, hasn't had the staying power that something like Heavy Meadow has, and has taken a fairly impressive dive.

Pieces Of The Night

Jesus Of Suburbia Feature In The Metro Times

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 08:42:21 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Doug's anniversary seemed to have gone by without much notice, at least as far as the media is concerned. It's rare that I actually actively seek out articles on his anniversary, but happen to stumble across them a few days later through the various usual channels. And of course, I think how fucking stoopid it is that someone else is finding them, and I never look. And think that I should change that, but a year later, it's the same thing - wreckless guitar session til I'm ready to pass out, no further thought given to an article search. Until this year. But, at least on the 5th, there was actually nada. Nothing in the Phoenix New Times, nothing in the AZ Republic. Nada.

Until now - Detriot's Metro Times has come out today running the feature Jesus Of Suburbia by Brian Smith.

In fine Smith form, it's a no bullshit, no holds barred account of times with Doug. Not like the usual Smith article (that I've read anyway), it's extremely long, and detailed, to some extend unlike any other article written by Doug. I was suprised while reading the first two paragraphs, how much there was still left to scroll.

The feature also removed any confusion on Brian's attitude about Doug. Different things I've read could be taken negative towards Doug, but there really is no question where Brian is coming from after reading this feature.

One of the best articles on Hopkins there is.

I see the ghosts around you. I know they're all jaded too.

Old Favorites And New Ones Too

Pilot Show On The Blaze

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 08:26:36 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Today The Blaze aired the pilot for a new show Old Favorites And New Ones Too, a two hour show showcasing 20 years of Arizona music, past and present, hosted by Sarah Ventre.

Much like when she had Robin Wilson in the studio recently for The Blaze's 25th Anniversary, the first hour was more or less all tracks I listen to regularly. Particularly cool to hear was Domo, and Violet Wild's Water And Chemicals (arguably their best non Mink Rebellion song, with the exception of maybe Rare Disease, so it was a really good choice!).

The second hour was a largely stuff I hadn't heard before (and about half of it artists I'd not heard of before), the variety in what was played was quite impressive. The other thing that was great was announcements of upcoming local shows, which can only be a good thing for the scene.

The playlist looked something like this:

  1. Swan Dive - Gloritone
  2. Mosquito Coast - Dead Hot Workshop
  3. Don't Care - Ghetto Cowgirl
  4. The Lover's Alarm - Domo
  5. The Spiritual Tramp Of 1968 - Source Victoria
  6. Rubin's Accomplice
  7. Water And Chemicals - Violet Wild
  8. Girly - The Refreshments
  9. Sun Club Jump - Hans Olson
  10. Midnight Radio - Greyhound Soul
  11. Sara Says - Zubia Brothers
  12. L.A. - Tramps & Thieves
  13. Cindy Crawford (Shell Shocked & Woodstocked) - Truckers On Speed
  14. My Guardian Angel - The Pistoleros
  15. All Down The Line - Shelby James & The Crying Shames
  16. - Shamshi Rule
  17. I Didn't Make This World (Live @ Hollywood Alley) - Chocolate Fountain
  18. Tin Pan Alley - Big Pete Peirson
  19. Cold Iron Bed - Yourchistra
  20. At Your Gate - John Gacker
  21. Story - Kirkwood & Dellinger
  22. Dennis Kucinich For 2008 - Dakota & the Black River Bandit
  23. Dick York - Fish Karma
  24. Send Him - Hell On Heels
  25. One Only - Green Lady Killers
  26. Survive This - Lady Elaine
  27. Old Young - The Love Blisters
  28. Oh Well - Dead Hot Workshop
I'm not entirely sure what the future for the show is yet, but there was a mention of being back next semester, so let's hope so.

Thanks to Sarah for the heads up on the pilot (otherwise I wouldn't have known about it), plus the request (Cindy Crawford) and really nice shout out. Sarah rocks!
Now Playing: Violet Wild - Concrete Lake (Acoustic)

My Tempe Music History

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, December 9, 2007 - 10:11:17 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Tempe)
It's a story I've told many times over the years, and years ago someone suggested I should make a blog article about it (long before I even had a blog), so here goes...

This is a cronological look at how I got into the Tempe scene, and my introduction into the bands that I listen to on a daily basis.

Gin Blossoms (Dec, 1993)
It all started in December 1993, late one night listening to American Top 40, which I used to do back in those days - back when it used to exist back in those days. From memory, it finished after 25 years in 1994 - y'know, the Kasey Kasum / Shadow Stevens one.

This was back when Fox FM had moved it from 6pm Sunday to 12am, and on that December night leading up to Christmas, I heard a song from this new band called "The Jin Blossoms (as I thought at the time), which just immediately spoke to me - every line of Hey Jealousy was the song I should have written, but didn't. Immediately I knew that I had to tune in next week to get the song on tape.

Ironically enough, this was at the time when Hey Jealousy was making it's way down the chart, and Found Out About You was making it's s climb up. and as such I got a double dose of the Blossoms back to back, Hey Jealousy at 36, and Found Out About You at 35. The chorus of Found Out About You also painted such a great mental image. I pretty much couldn't wait until the next week to get these songs on tape. I really liked that also, and was particularly taken by the lyrics, and the main riff of the song, but "geez, relax on the arpeggios" I thought.

The next week, I tuned in anxiously tuned into to AT40, which was the annual Christmas show, and as it turns out, Jealousy had dropped to #40. Not being prepared for it to be the first song, I never got the start of the song on tape. (I actually dug out the tape recently, and was suprised, because I'd forgotten just how much of the song I didn't have - the recording started somewhere through the second verse). I did however manage to get the majority of it, and Found Out About You, which I played to ridiculous porportions over the next week. I think it was this week, that I heard that the guitarist of the band had been kicked out. I was 15, and a firm believer that any songs, by default, were written by the guitarist. They just were. (As it turned out, with Hey Jealousy and Found Out About You, they actually were). I clearly remember thinking "I've finally found this awesome band, and they've kicked out the fucking lead guitarist! Why did it have to be the lead guitarist?!?", which was partially based on my 15 year old perceptions of how rock n' roll worked, and also based somewhat on reality - such as the brilliance behind the main Found Out About You riff, which was clearly the work of the band's lead guitarist. I was of course later vindicated, finding out that lead guitarist Doug Hopkins was the driving force behind both those songs. ("I KNEW it!").

I had kind of immediately become a Hopkins fan, as much as a Gin Blossoms fan, within about 3 weeks, still not knowing that much of the band. I actually remember fairly clearly thinking that someone with the talent of Hopkins would probably show up in another band on the airwaves. Of course, I think by the third week I heard (all through AT40) that this wouldn't actually eventuate - Doug Hopkins had committed suicide. Ironically enough, his death was either the weekend of, or the weekend after I first heard Hey Jealousy.

Having just come off years and years of glam rock (Poison, Motley Crue, Skid Row etc.), the one thing that this band lacked, was the soring guitar solos. I think my initial assessment was "Awesome songs, not much of a lead guitarist though", based on the solos of Hey Jealousy and Found Out About You, which were vastly different to what I'd been listening to since first getting into Poison in 1988. Though, by Jan, and especially after picking up the tab for Hey Jealousy in Guitar World, I started to slowly see the brilliance in Hopkins' style. What started out to me sounding hacky and kinda amateurish, turned into actually having a lot of intracies. In reality, it only took a couple of months to come around to Doug's way of thinking.

All the while, I kept listening to AT40, particularly to hear any info on the Gin Blossoms. Which back then, was my only source of information. After a while Until I Fall Away was released, and still nothing on the Australian airwaves, and I started to give up hope on ever getting to hear the intro of Hey Jealousy again (which I'd never gotten on tape). It's actually funny to think how much larger the world seemed in 1994, and the impossibility of getting your hands on music that wasn't domestically released. To my suprise, I heard an Australian DJ forward announce a new track by the Gin Blossoms was coming up. I almost fell off my seat, and expected it to be Found Out About You, but no, a few moments later the chords of Hey Jealousy rang out. Finally I got to hear the intro again! Pretty much immediately I went out and found the cassette single, and put the album New Miserable Experience, which hadn't hit the stores yet, on order. So, as it turned out, while we were a good 7 months behind the US, the Blossoms' music made it to Australia. I can't count the number of times I heard them on the radio after that.

The reason I listen to every other band listed here, and for even writing this comes down to one thing - Doug Hopkins.

The Refreshments (1996)
The Refreshments were all the buzz in the Blossoms's fan camp throughout 1996, in no small part to them opening for the Blossoms on the west coast leg of their Congratulations tour. I first received a tape of Fizzy Fuzzy Big And Buzzy, early to mid 1996. On the first listen I wasn't moved. This really have as much to do with The Refreshments as it did the fact that I'd received my first copy of Dusted the same day. Listening to Dusted was really exciting, Fizzy was okay, but I undoubtedly just couldn't wait to listen to Dusted again. Later that night I listened to Fizzy again, and - well, that was that. Immediately I identified with Blush's big guitar, which was immediately recognizable as Hopkins influenced. I don't think that at the time I explicitly knew that Brian was the world's biggest Doug Hopkins fan (behind maybe Bill Leen) - not surprising at all. It didn't take long to come to appreciate the touch in check lyrics, and desert imagery, but it was certainly Blush's guitar that first took me in.

Fizzy Fuzzy Big And Buzzy remains one of the quintessential Tempe music albums, comparable with New Miserable Experience.

September 1996
In writing this, it dawns on me that the next four tapes is really what changed it from a Gin Blossoms (and Refreshments) thing to a Tempe thing. Everything after that was actually a no brainer - either following the split off projects, or swallowing up new Tempe bands. The Tempe music thing has definitely grown, and widened in terms of bands and is still worthwhile mentioning them all, but September 1996 really was the turning point, and the definable time that I really became into the Tempe scene.

Dead Hot Workshop (Sept, 1996)
Until getting on the internet in 1996, I'd known of Dead Hot Workshop, but had always thought Dead Hot was the Gin Blossoms rehearsal studio - based on the photo inside the New Miserable Experience original liners. It was pretty cool to find out that they were actually a fellow Tempe band. With that, the references in the Refreshments songs, I was pretty anxious to get 1001. I did around September 1996 - and didn't like it. This was in no part through lack of wanting to. I just didn't get Dead Hot. I guess at the time it was just a bit too alternative, or just not what I was expecting based on the Blossoms and Refreshments, who admittedly they were quite often likened to.

I gave 1001 several times over the following 3 months, hoping that something would change, which was always in vein. Eventually I just resided to the fact that Dead Hot wasn't for me. Around that time, I gave 1001 what was going to be the last time, and amazingly on that listen, the Dead Hot Workshop thing clicked!

On so many levels, Dead Hot is the most respectable band of the Tempe scene, and music overall. If you're looking for the best band that you've never heard before, look no further than Dead Hot Workshop.

Chimeras (Sept, 1996)
The Chimeras was the second of four albums I got in Sep 1996, and like Dead Hot were much anticipated, in no small part being that they were formed by Doug Hopkins, even though I was well aware that Mistaken For Granted was completely post Hopkins era. Unlike Dead Hot Workshop, I immediately loved The Chimeras. Probably different than I expected, and more rootsy, but immediately became a favorite album for me.

Still to this day I maintain that Mistaken For Granted is the best record the Zubia's have done post Hopkins. It doesn't really get a good wrap in general, but for mine, Mistaken is a quintessential Tempe album.

The Piersons (Sept, 1996)
Jim! Ya ha! I first got a copy of Humbucker with this batch of tapes. I hadn't heard much about the band at the time, other than hearing their name along with others regularly on the Long Wongs weekly schedule. Just like Mistaken For Granted, I immediately loved The Piersons. Unadulterated cow punk rock 'n roll at it's best! Much like Dead Hot Workshop, a great band for being true to the essence of rock 'n roll and never selling out.

Satellite (Sept, 1996)
Satellite's self titled album was the fourth tape I received in the batch with the others. And was the one that was like 1001 for me - I didn't get the appeal. Which in no doubt was due to Stephen Ashbrook's voice, and seemingly perverted psyche - "Watch You Through Your Window", .

Unlike 1001, I never actually came around to Satellite. The last time I listened to the album was probably sometime in 1997. Years later I got a copy of the CD release party for Stephen Ashbrook's new CD American B-Sides. I particular got this for The Pistoleros opening set, but was encouraged to get Stephen's sets. I only really did for the sake of completeness of the recording, but on listening to it, surprisingly my whole outlook on Stephen Ashbrook and Satellite changed. It only took me 6 years, to understand what the big deal about Stephen Ashbrook was, but I eventually did. I dusted off my Satellite cassette, which prompted got chewed, which prompted me to buy Satellite, Navigator and American B-Sides. Despite not liking it at the time, I can't listen to Satellite enough these days, classic Tempe album.

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (June, 1998)
1997 and 1998 was a bad year for loosing the best bands - the Gin Blossoms called it quits, soon followed by The Refreshments. Getting into The Peacemakers was an obvious thing, just following Roger & PH's movements after the Refreshments breakup. And as it progressed, Steve Larson and Scott Johnson joining the ranks, even more of an obvious thing.

Initially while following the band closely, they were a little more country for my liking, which was really no doubt "a little more country that The Refreshments" more than anything. It was the release (slash the lead up to the release) of Sonoran Hope & Madness that really got me on board with the Peacemakers thing.

Storyline (1998)
Storyline was particular great, from the outset, to hear Brian Blush was in music news. Albeit, that was somewhat short lived (only playing on the initial song, It's Only A Matter Of Time) before disappearing off the face of the earth, Storyline turned into a great who's who of Tempe music, and like with the Peacemakers, was an obvious project to follow right from the outset.

Ghetto Cowgirl (April, 2005)
I'd actually heard of Ghetto was back 1998, and had downloaded To The Point and Excuses For Losers (either from azcentral, or back in the day, but had never paid that much attention to them. I actually picked up both the albums in at Zia Records on Katie's recommendation in 2005, and saw them in Phoenix probably the next week. Immediately I wondered why I hadn't paid attention to Ghetto before this.

Loretta (2005)
Loretta is a band that I was supposed to see in April 2005 (not that I'd ever heard of them before), but didn't get to, for reasons that aren't that clear in my mind. Probably just from being so busy.

Despite this, I got a live recording from Katie a couple of months later. And promptly cursed and yelled about not getting to see live! Loretta's songs are just perfectly crafted, period.

It's almost painful that most of these songs will probably just disappear in the ether. Not much happened with Loretta, and for all extents and purposes seemed to quietly dissappear in mid 2006. And absolute shame, because a Loretta album would have been awesome.

Charmers Green / The Black Moods (April, 2005)
My first exposure to The Black Moods (at the time Charmers Green) was - well, the only true way to experience The Black Moods - live and in the flesh. In Tempe, Katie had said how I probably wouldn't overly be into their songs, but had to see them for Josh Kennedy's guitar work. She could not be more correct about that. I wasn't typically into their Led Zepplin influenced originals, but completely worth the ticket price to see the long haired, shirtless, "rock is fuckin' dead, right?" Josh Kennedy. In addition, while their music wasn't my "thing" beyond Josh's blistering guitar solos, their pure energy was enough to make the show great, and easy to stay through their entire two sets (filling in for Velvet Elvis who didn't play). Rock 'n fucking roll!

A few months later, back at home, Creamy Radio broadcast their Laurel Canyon CD release party of the internet. Admitadly I was tuned in primarily for Scott Johnson's opening set, but listened to, and thankfully recorded the Black Mood's set also. As it happened I enjoyed it, and over the following month became a big fan of The Black Moods. It didn't take long to see influences from bands I was into in the music that I initially thought wasn't my thing.

The more I played the show, the more I dug the band, and it became obvious to me, that if there was going to be a next big thing out of Tempe to make it, it was going to be The Black Moods. Awesome tunes, and a larger than life rock 'n roll guitarist Josh Kennedy. It was cool too, that there was a Tempe band that you were into, invariably on the cusp of hitting something big. About 6 months after Kevin Prier left the band, the band broke up, which really signalled the Tempe scene loosing such a great band. While maybe it's only a small consulation, as I still miss them, I did at least get to see one of their last shows (@ Last Exit's 3rd Anniversary Bash).

Tramps & Thieves (October 2005)
Credit for being into Tramps goes to Creamy Radio. I'd certainly heard of the band throughout 2005, and certainly while in Tempe, but hadn't heard them (aside from seeing Emmitt at a musicians showcase show @ Yucca Tap) until listening to some shows broadcast on Creamy Radio.

Tramps were a band that somewhat slowly grew on me, and had only listened to the Creamy Radio shows - well, because I could. Over time, and certainly 2006, they'd really grown on me. I picked up their Mill Aveneue Cowboys E.P in Tempe, and got to see them at the Circus Mexicus Pre Party at Last Exit. One thing I can say about Tramps - while they're fairly country on record, they're very rock on stage.

Mink Rebellion (October 2005)
I hate myspace, but I have to credit it with getting into Mink Rebellion. This came from screwing around on myspace, basically checking out whatever music I could after getting back from my first trip to Arizona. It all started from seeing the video for Along For The Ride. Catch song, and I immediately got into it. I didn't mind the other stuff that they had up on myspace (Concrete Lake, Hitchhicker and Book Of Reasons, despite they were a lot "younger" than stuff that I typically listen to. At some point both Concrete Lake and Book Of Reasons really grew on me.

Ironically, by this time, Mink Rebellion were falling apart, and at this stage billed Mink Rebellion shows were basically Bobby Scott and Josh Kennedy (The Black Moods) together on stage. That's my understanding anyway, and was certainly true come 2006. By the time of my second trip to the desert, I was definitely into the band, and was quite glad to find the Along For Ride E.P. Up until this point I'd only heard the four songs from myspace - the rest on the E.P didn't disappoint.

The same can be said about their earlier self titled E.P, which I got this year. Kinda sucks that, given how much I dig the band, that they broke up. But with Mink Rebellion and The Black Moods morphing into Violet Wild, not all is lost.

Beat Angels (June, 2006)
Years ago Shireen Liane had recommended checking out Beat Angels records for Brian Smith's lyrical references to Doug. At one of my assults on Zia Records I came across a second hand copy of Unhappy Hour. Standing there at the back corner of Zia, CD in hand, I tosssed up on whether to inflict further pain to my credit card, all the while with Shireen's recommednation playing through my head. The indecision is kinda odd now, in highsensight, since I'd always enjoyed Terminal Love from Scotti-Stock. Though it no doubt came from having not heard anything from it, and the huge stack of CD's already in my hands.

At the end of the day, after putting the CD back onto the shelf once, Shireen's recommendation won out. I wanted to get to hear the album years ago, and really, how can I pass up a potential Hopkins reference - after all, I'm standing in Tempe, CD in hand - it doesn't get much easier. So I added it to the stack. After all, if it sucks, what have I lost? 8 bucks.

It wasn't until I got back home that I listened to Unhappy Hour. Too much to do out in the desert, including dealing with a broken shoulder. It took about two weeks to break into it, and wasn't one of the first CD's I opened up. Once I did, I was interested to see whether it was worth buying. Hopkins references didn't immediate jump out immediately per se, but by the end of the CD I already knew that this was without a doubt a CD I had to pick up. Phoenix rock 'n roll, which also harks back to my regular listening trends of Motley Crue and Gun N' Roses (both Beat Angels albums are produced by Gilby Clarke) before my collection was changed the night I heard Hey Jealousy).

It's criminal that it took me 10 years to discover the Beat Angels. I'd heard of them back in 1996 and really should have been listening to them since then. But I guess, I have made up for lost time, the album has been my 4th played album in both 2006 and 2007, and certainly the most played from that assult on Zia.

The Beat Angels sit with The Piersons - just no bullshit rock 'n roll - at it's finest!

The Guy That Wrote That Song...

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - 10:30:55 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
It's funny, only last week I was thinking about the whole Hopkins thing at the Blake Birthday get together, without fully realization that Doug's anniversary was right around the corner (ie: this week). Fourteen years today...

Through technical advances (read: iPod alarm clock), this year I was able to wake to the tunes of Hopkins, with a playlist that I stayed up way too long last night creating. [wink] Kicked off, of course, by Lost Horizons. Typically, unless it falls on a weekend, the celebrations need to wait until after work to kick off.

The other big thing this year was that Katie and I finally spent the anniversary together. Well, that wasn't that new - physically together was the new part.

Throughout the day, again thanks to the iPod, I was able to listen to the large body of work of Hopkins, which is always quite impressive - to the extent that I didn't actually make it the whole way through the playlist. It was funny to realize later in the day, despite having a lot less time, I was able to actually listen to a lot more than I normally would.

During lunch, not that this is largely Hopkins related at all, but listening to Just Fall Thru, I realized how in 15 years, Marc Norman's voice really hasn't changed all that much. Back with The Eventuals he didn't really sound that much different than he does these days with Ghetto Cowgirl. Pretty impressive. Oh, but I digress...

After work there was some present shopping to be had, but we still got home in time to have a rather large (more so than I expected or was planning on) guitar session, which is definitely the largest part of my December 5th tradition. The whirlwind and exhaustion of the past week was definitely felt, but as it's about reckless abandon, it didn't matter in the least.

After which, we headed outside for a cigarette (yes, both of us [wink]), and Hops discussion. One thing that really stood out to me this year is that it's really weird that it's been 14 years. Even typing "14 years" doesn't seem right. You can look back over the years and account for each one, yet at the same time, it still feels like it was just yesterday.

Another thing that made this year slightly different, again, due to technological advances, was bulletins from Steve Larson yesterday and today. Pretty much just articles, with some added commentary, but still, really cool.

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